Cop accused of harassment ‘not given chance’ to defend himself

 

A FORMER homicide Detective who left the police service amid allegations of sexual harassment says he was not given a chance to proclaim his innocence and the "mishandled" investigation meant he was forced to retire with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Scott Furlong was the head of Logan CIB in early 2019 when his office was subjected to forensic examination - including a luminol spray - after complaints were made about his conduct.

The former Detective Senior Sergeant was stood down from operational duties but left the service, ending a 20 year policing career, claiming his 15-year battle with PTSD became too much.

He now says the Queensland Police Service treated him unfairly, claiming he was told he'd "be the last to know" what he was accused of.

"It's just very disappointing," he told The Sunday Mail.

"It's disappointing on a number of fronts - one, that it precludes me from being able to address any accusations and I think it takes away from the opportunity of any complainant or any persons that have made a complaint, for them to be addressed."

 

Former homicide Detective Scott Furlong at Queensland Police Service’s HQ on Roma St in 2008. Picture: Jono Searle
Former homicide Detective Scott Furlong at Queensland Police Service’s HQ on Roma St in 2008. Picture: Jono Searle

 

Asked whether he had sexually harassed anyone, Mr Furlong said: "No, no way in the world."

Mr Furlong said he was diagnosed with PTSD in 2005 but his condition was exacerbated by the investigation into sexual harassment claims.

He claimed the workplace regulator at the Industrial Relations Commission found the investigation had "aggravated my PTSD and that was the cause for me having to medically retire".

He said the QPS never told him what the allegations against him were but also revealed he declined to take part in a police interview "on health grounds" months into the investigation.

"I was well and truly ill by that stage. I think perhaps it was just before the medical retirement went through," he said.

The former Detective said the investigation was "confusing" and claims he was told there were no complaints against him, despite his office being sealed off as a crime scene.

"Well, I'd hazard to think, if there is no criminal matter, how did they lawfully examine my office?" he said.

"I don't want to come off as the victim or anything like that. I just wasn't afforded the proper opportunity to be able to address the issues surrounding (the) complaints.

"They weren't criminal complaints.

"It was unfair and unfortunate, the way in which they engaged in the whole process. (They) excluded me from being able to give an account, have my side of the story, if there is one to be had.

"So it's terribly unfair to me and it's terribly unfair to those people who felt aggrieved by anything that I have done."

Scott Furlong is releasing a children’s book about PTSD.
Scott Furlong is releasing a children’s book about PTSD.

 

Mr Furlong said he was diagnosed with the disorder after a particular incident meant he had to go and see a doctor.

He struggled with the illness for many years, at one point losing all memory of a post mortem he'd witnessed.

"I had absolutely no recollection. It was a horrific case. And I remember every detail of just about every post mortem I went to and for some reason I have no recollection of it whatsoever," he said.

He has since written a children's book about a family's struggle with PTSD called Mummy Wears Blue Shoes, saying it was important that people "have a conversation" about the illness. Mr Furlong said he "loved" his job and his troops and is devastated that his career ended in the way it did.

The Queensland Police Service declined to comment.

Originally published as Cop accused of harassment 'not given chance' to defend himself



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